Growing the Economy

Government of BC – Speech From the Throne

With our fiscal house in order, we have the foundation we need to grow our diverse economy with our BC Jobs Plan.

It starts with a special focus on small business across the eight sectors.

Small business employs more than one million people across our province.

B.C. has led the country in supporting small businesses by cutting red tape – and in 2015, your government will continue to lead, by further reducing the cost and burden of needless regulations, making it easier to do business with the provincial government.

This year in international education, your government will open three new B.C. offshore schools, implement a new offshore school application process, and continue to work with several countries on promoting bilingual education programs in B.C. schools.

This year in transportation, your government is working in partnership with Alberta and Saskatchewan through the New West Partnership to add capacity and resolve bottlenecks…to strengthen our Asia-Pacific gateway.

In October, the Softwood Lumber Agreement will expire.

We are working with the federal government and our B.C. forest Industry to ensure B.C. lumber products are treated fairly – especially at a time when the US economy is starting to rebound and housing starts are on the rise.

Together we will negotiate a new agreement that recognizes the mutual benefits of trade that is free and unhindered by the harmful effects of protectionism.

This year, your government will also introduce amendments to the Forest Act that allow us to implement recommendations from the BC Timber Sales Effectiveness Review, and lead the development and implementation of a renewed Forest Sector Competitiveness Strategy.

This year will be transformative for the mining and energy sector. Over the next few years, there is an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and billions more in new investment.

This year, your government will increase funding to the mining division to improve the permitting process for major mines and increase staff and inspections.

This year, the minister of technology and citizens’ services will bring forward an update to the 10-year skills training plan focusing on feedback from the tech sector.

With ongoing initiatives like the BC Venture Acceleration Program and Broadband Satellite Initiative, your government is delivering innovative change.

To encourage another year of strong growth in tourism, your government is reducing red tape and processing times for land-based tenure applications, and developing and marketing B.C.’s world-class tourism products through Destination BC.

With one billion dollars in growth in the last three years, the agrifoods sector is positioned for continued success. In 2015, your government will continue to work with the Agrifood Advisory Committee on a new action plan through 2020, including a new Fish and Seafood Strategy.

In February 2014, your government pledged to launch the LNG-Buy BC program to connect B.C. businesses with the national and international companies looking to invest billions of dollars in our province.

Last fall, your government said it would introduce a comprehensive LNG tax framework, which gives certainty to investors while ensuring British Columbians benefit from the abundant natural gas resource they own.

Your government said it would introduce world-leading environmental standards to ensure B.C has the cleanest LNG.

On all these commitments, your government is delivering.

In 2015, your government will continue to work with stakeholders, First Nations, communities, and proponents, and lead the way on natural gas development and export.

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